Watford stadium employee given suspended sentence after child sex offences conviction

A man who worked for decades as a programme seller at Watford’s stadium has been handed a 14-month suspended prison sentence and was given a sexual harm prevention order for a period of 10 years after being convicted of two child sex offences.

David Roxborough, 59, worked at Vicarage Road since the 1980s and in November 2023 he pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to meet a girl under 16 years of age following grooming, and attempting to engage in sexual communications with a child.

Roxborough’s 14-month sentence was suspended for two years and he was told he had to undergo 30 days of rehabilitation and undertake 150 hours of unpaid work.

The sentencing judge outline how it was their job “to protect children from people like you” and Roxborough “had come as close as you could come” to having to serve a custodial sentence immediately.

The judge added that there was a “realistic chance of rehabilitation” by sparing him prison and that he did “realise the error of (his) ways”. The judge warned him that he would be going to prison if he were to reoffend during the suspension period.

Prior to sentencing, Roxborough underwent a psychological report. He was described as having a “distinct level of immaturity” and that he “requires intensive supervision”, by defence counsel Mohammed Bashir. He outlined that Roxborough lived “a lonely life” but was “not a person who has an entrenched pattern of looking at child pornography”. It was confirmed that no indecent images were found on devices that were seized by police following his arrest. The defence said that Roxborough had shown “remorse” and “understands that he needs guidance”.

As his sentence was delivered, the judge told Roxborough — who wore a brown leather jacket and blue jeans — that he was “mentally very much younger than you appear” and that may have contributed to why “boundaries may have been blurred”. Although, he highlighted that “none of that makes this case any less serious”.

Roxborough was arrested on April 14 last year after arranging to meet a 13-year-old child with the intention of sharing a bed. He was reprimanded by an interceptor group targeting suspected paedophiles who had created the girl’s profile online.

Watford suspended Roxborough after his arrest in April and he has not worked at Vicarage Road since.

The club say that they have complied with all government safeguarding legislation in relation to the role held by the man, and that a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check was not mandatory.

They say that they have not received any complaints in relation to him since his arrest, aside from people contacting the club to make them aware of the online video and advise them of the incident.

(Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

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